Archive for November, 2008

Heli-skiing scoping notice

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

From an email received from Save Our Canyons.

Speak up for the Wasatch!

Unfortunately, the issue of heli-skiing in the Wasatch has emerged once again. Wasatch Powderbird Guides (WPG) is up for a special use permit renewal, with their current permit set to expire 9/1/2010. Save Our Canyons is dismayed with the potential for WPG to have at the Wasatch yet again. Backcountry use is increasing, at an all time high, and the conflict between the user groups continues to escalate, yet the Forest Service continues to entertain heli-skiing as an appropriate and viable use of our public lands.

The Salt Lake Ranger District has issued a scoping notice inviting the public to comment on the permit renewal. WPG has been an outfitter & guide operating under special use permits since 1973. The new permit would include the same conditions and terms as the current permit; however, there are some changes that would be administrative in scope.

The new permit would be issued for 10 years rather than the normal 5 years and would be categorically excluded from further NEPA analysis. In a previous Record of Decision it was stated that it is uncertain whether heli-skiing will remain a feasible recreation opportunity in the Wasatch, due to increased numbers of backcountry users.

We NEED YOU to submit your thoughts and concerns regarding the WPG permit renewal!

The urgency is here; let the Forest Service hear your thoughts on the best use of your public lands and hope they make the right decision.

Use this link to view the scoping notice.

Submit comments to Melissa Hearst, Salt Lake Acting District Ranger 6944 So 3000 East, Salt Lake City UT 84121, fax 801-733-2684, or via e-mail at

For information about THIS PROJECT and commenting, please contact Carl Fisher, Executive Director of Save Our Canyons, at or at 801-363-7283.

Glen Canyon Institue conference – Adjusting to less water….

Friday, November 14th, 2008

“We were stunned at the magnitude of the problem and how fast it was coming at us. Make no mistake, this water problem is not a scientific abstraction, but rather one that will impact each and every one of us that live in the Southwest.”
—Dr. Tim Barnett, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, “Lake Mead Could Be Dry by 2021

A Conference Sponsored by Glen Canyon Institute
Thursday, December 4, 2008
University of Utah Conference Center/Officer’s Club – Salt Lake City
Doors open 8:30 am
Phone (801) 363-4450, Fax (801) 363-4451

This is going to be a landmark conference and a rare opportunity to hear scientists and activists from across the country discuss the latest scientific research, identify needs for more study, and explore policy changes to ensure a sustainable water supply while protecting the Colorado River, Glen Canyon, and Grand Canyon ecosystems.

Scientific research and policy presentations will be made by:

• Tim Barnett, Research Marine Physicist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
• Gregory McCabe, Project Chief and Physical Scientist, National Research Program, Water Resources Division, United States Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado
• Bradley Udall, Director, NOAA Western Water Assessment, University of Colorado
• Connie Woodhouse, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Regional Development and Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona
• Niklas Christensen, Research Scientist, Land Surface Hydrology Research Group, University of Washington
• David Wegner, Science Director and Trustee, Glen Canyon Institute
• Robert Adler, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and James I. Farr Chair in Law, Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah

Other presentations will include:

• Katie Lee, renowned singer-actress-writer-river runner-activist, who will present the film Love Song to Glen Canyon
• James Kay, landscape photographer, who will show stunning images of the recovery of Glen Canyon
• Bill Wolverton, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area ranger, who will show photographs of the emerging Glen Canyon landscape

The afternoon presentations will conclude with a panel discussion on the future of Glen Canyon, the Colorado River, and the conservation movement by:

• Martin Litton, legendary Grand Canyon river runner, photographer, and staunch opponent of Colorado River dams
• Barbara Brower, Professor of Geography at Portland State University and editor of Himalaya
• Kenneth Brower, award-winning author and environmental activist

The conference will conclude with the evening presentation of the prestigious David R. Brower Award for Outstanding Environmental Activism. This year’s recipient is:

• Congressman George Miller, who has served California’s 7th District (East Bay of San Francisco) in the U.S. Congress since 1975. He is one of the most effective and consistent champions of the nation’s wildlife and wild lands. His conservation achievements include providing key leadership in protecting the integrity of the Endangered Species Act and advancing congressional actions to increase funding for federal lands conservation.


• Morning and afternoon presentations – $45
• Students with ID – Free admission (register at
• Lunch – $8 (FREE to first 50 students who register.)
• Reception and dinner with Congressman George Miller – $50
• Evening Brower Award ceremony – Free admission

Doors open at 8:30 — tickets and seating are limited. For more information or to register, visit the Glen Canyon Institute website or email